Friday, 28 February 2014

Book Tour: Midsummer Sweetheart - Katy Regnery + GIVEAWAY



Erik Lindstrom never had much faith in love. He saw his parents’ marriage collapse and vowed to avoid the same anguish himself. His fiercely protective nature drew him to a career in law enforcement, but he’s managed to keep himself and his heart safe…until now.
Katrin Svenson is in danger. After leaving her home in secret, her only hope for safety seems to lie in the hands of her handsome but aloof protector, who's steeled himself against her deep blue eyes and sunny smile. 
Sparks fly between the officer and the nurse, and those sparks turn to fire as Katrin melts the ice surrounding Erik’s heart. Yet a dark force, determined to tear the young lovers apart, must be vanquished before their sweet midsummer nights can turn into a sweet forever.


My opinion.
Another fabulous novel by Katy Regnery.
When we meet Katrin, she's very vulnerable. She's been hurt, she's scared, she's lonely... but she hasn't given up. She still believes in love, but it's doubtful she'll find it with Erik. Everyone did warn her that he's not 'the marrying type'. 'Commitment-phobic' is a more accurate description... Right?
Katrin is a very easy to love MC. She's kind, she's courageous, loving,... and so is Erik. Although he's mostly stubborn... and scared - not that he'd ever admit to that, of course. Neither of them expected to fall in love. Hell, they didn't even think they'd like each other. 
From the very first page, Katy Regnery draws you in. You feel protective of Katrin and you're swept of your feet by the sexy, handsome Erik. You can really feel and understand the love these characters have for each other and their loved ones, but also their doubts and struggles are very real. You're sucked into their love story and you're oblivious to the world around you while reading Midsummer Sweetheart. Katy Regnery has done it again.

  


About the author.
KATY REGNERY, award-winning romance novelist, has always loved telling a good story and credits her mother with making funny, heartwarming tales come alive throughout her childhood. A lifelong devotee of all romance writing from Edwardian to present-day, it was just a matter of time before Katy tried her hand at writing a love story of her own.

As it turned out, one love story turned into a series of five Heart of Montana romances, following the love lives of the Yellowstone-based Lindstrom siblings, their friends and family. Katy is also the author of the Enchanted Places series, launching in January 2014 with Playing for Love at Deep Haven, which will be followed by an additional seven books throughout 2014-2016. In addition to contemporary romance, Katy also writes paranormal romance under the pseudonym K.P. Kelley. It’s You, the story of star-crossed lovers, takes place in northern New England and the forests north of Quebec.


Speaking of forests, Katy lives in the relative-wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut where her writing room looks out at the woods and her husband, two young children and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all are the messy and unexpected ones. 



Connect with Katy:




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Be sure to check out my review for 'Playing for Love at Deep Haven', another fabulous novel by Katy Regnery, and fall in love along with Zach and Violet.   



    


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Book Tour: Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place - Portia MacIntosh - Review + Q&A



The blurb: Behind the music…
Being best friends with a mega-star has its perks and Nicole Wilde, music journalist, laps them up. But when said friend, Dylan King, gorgeous lead singer of The Burnouts, has zero sense of self-preservation – once a drop of alcohol hits his blood stream ‒ and an inability to keep ‘little Dylan’ in his pants, it also comes with responsibilities. Now, Nicole has to track down Dylan in time to play a charity gigtomorrow. Half a dozen groupies, a haunted hotel, a tattoo parlour, a reality show runner-up and a crazy bed-hopping, sleepless night later – will she find him before the tour bus leaves town? And when she does, is it time to head home? Or to jump on the tour bus and go along for the ride!


My opinion.
How great is this cover. I mean, really. Wow.
Thankfully, the story was every bit as fantastic as this cover. It has an amazing setting: behind the scenes of the rock and roll lifestyle of the rich and famous with an easy to love, funny main character and a very hot, very famous crush. And if that wasn't enough: a missing rock star.
Nicole seems to have it all: a job as a music journalist, backstage passes and a rockstar for a best friend. A position all fan girls envy. But she's the most lovely, funny down to earth person about it all.
I can't wait for 'How Not To Be Starstruck' to come out. Portia MacIntosh is one to look out for!


  

Author Q&A
About the author.
When she was fifteen-years-old, Portia MacIntosh fell in with a bad crowd... rockstars. After disappearing on tour and living the rock 'n' roll lifestyle for a few years, Portia landed a job in the music industry - but only so that she didn't have to join the real world just yet.
Now in her twenties, Portia is ready to spill the beans on the things she has witnessed over the years. Well, kind of. If her famous friends knew that she was borrowing their lives to inspire her fiction, they would stop inviting her on tour and banish her from the inner circle. Then she really would have to rejoin the real world, and she's still not ready.
Portia only started writing novels to share her secrets, but then she realised she actually quite liked writing - maybe even more than she likes living on a bus with a bunch of smelly boys - and has since tried her hand at writing about other things.

In your author bio you said that joining tours was a way of escaping the real world. How are you liking it so far? Or haven’t you said your goodbyes just yet, to the rock and roll lifestyle?
When I first started writing my books, I was still very much involved. I was squashing writing chapters in between gigs and work - writing in the notes app on my phone if I was on the go, or even finding an actual pen and writing on actual paper if that's all that was available at the time. Since signing my deal, I'm having to take my writing much more seriously and that's cutting into my tour time a little... i'm scared to say it, but i'm loving it. I'm still living the life though, and still not ready to grow up [laughs].

What do you love most about being on tour?
I love everything. I love meeting new people - making a new best friend, even if it's just for one night. I love how no two days are the same. I love rockstars, they remind me of the naughty boys at school - the ones who would keep the class entertained, doing stupid things and being cheeky to the teacher. Touring, for someone like me who isn't in a band, is like a holiday. I love it.

Joining tours at the age of 15 doesn’t sound like the average teenage life. How did that come about, and how was it, living that life style from such an early age?
I got "in" with a pretty big band. The more time I spent in that kind of environment, the more I wanted to stick around. Through that band I met other bands, I made more friends, and eventually I wound up with a job in the industry. As soon as my professional and social lives were both in the biz, I was lost to it.

You used some of your experiences as an inspiration for your book(s). Have any of your rockstar friends (or their entourage) approached you yet about seeing their ‘adventures’ pop up in your work?
For me the worry was that people would read my books and decide who was who based on who I am friends with in real life. I also worried that my band friends would read it and start thinking I was talking about them or someone else close to us... I didn't want people trying to put pieces of a puzzle together that were never going to fit. My books are inspired by my experiences, but not a re-telling of them. So the story in my second book, How Not to be Starstruck, may not have happened, but the little events are based around real things that happened or do happen. As for the characters, they are based around a type of person, rather than an individual. My books are realistic, but they're not real. It made sense to use a pen name.

How are you enjoying being a writer, and are you planning on continuing writing?
I love writing! It was never my intention to be an author, I just wanted a way to tell my tour stories anonymously. I have four books coming out with Carina and another two all planned out. It may have come about by accident, but I'm really enjoying writing novels. I love planning, writing, editing, promoting - I'm really loving doing interviews, it's nice being on the receiving end of questions.

Can you reveal something about future projects?
After Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place comes out (20th February) I have the full-length follow-up, How Not to be Starstruck, out in March. My third book out with Carina is called Like Father Like Son - that one isn't about the music industry, so I'm excited to see how that one goes down.

Some facts about Portia

Favorite color
Pink. My entire world is pink.

Favorite holiday destination
I have lots of band friends in New York and LA. If I weren't so busy, that's where I'd be heading.

Favorite band
I love a bit of everything when it comes to music. It's hard to pick favourites, I change my mind all the time.

Favorite drink
I'm a coffee junkie.

Favorite author and/or favorite book
My favourite book is probably The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

Connect with Portia on Twitter, Facebook and her website!

Massive thank you to Portia 
for approaching me about this novella and 
for taking the time to stop by and answer some questions, 
and to the amazing Gosling Girls for organizing this fabulous tour.
You ladies ROCK.


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Book Tour: The Guestbook - Holly Martin




The blurb:
Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook.

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider - whatever her colourful array of guests require.  A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.

This includes Annie herself - especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.

Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!

Forget sending postcards saying ‘wish you were here’ - one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.


My opinion.
From the moment I read the blurb and saw the cover, I knew this was a book I'd HAVE to read. I'd heard so many great things about Holly (and her books ;-) ) already, so when the opportunity came to be a part of this book tour, I jumped. And I'm so happy I did.
I absolutely loved reading this book. Holly tells the story of Willow Cottage, its owner Annie and all it's guest. The great thing is though, that she lets THEM tell their story - through Willow Cottage's Guestbook.
Every guest has their own fond, which makes it easy to see who's writing without having to turn back pages. It's amazing how Holly can introduce characters by just a few lines and still make you feel like you know them through and through. It took me a while to really understand who Annie was - the first impressions the guests wrote weren't really helpful - but I ended up really liking and respecting her. She's a very strong, very kind woman with so much love for both her friends and her guests.
The main story in The Guestbook is Annie's. Through the messages of her friends staying in Willow Cottage and her responses, and through some eye-witness reports written by extremely nosy guests, we see her story unfold.
It's a very heartwarming and funny story about love... and all the pain and joy that comes with it. 



  



Now YOU can get involved too, here is our very own Guestbook online, take the time to visit and leave a comment, join in the fun and tell us what you thought of your experience. Meet new friends or be nosey and see what others have got up to before you! 


Monday, 17 February 2014

Cover Reveal: Waiting for Prince Harry + GIVEAWAY

Waiting for Prince Harry

COVER REVEAL



Waiting For Prince Harry—Coming 2014

Twenty-four-year-old Kylie Reed has always been a rule follower. Organized and cautious to a fault, her dreams for life are often filed away for future use—when she has a house, when she meets her future husband, when she has been at her visual display job at a chic Dallas boutique longer...Kylie always has a reason for living her life in the future, not in the present, and not living her life to the fullest and reaching her dream of becoming a fashion designer. 
The only exception to rules, of course, would be running away with Prince Harry—Kylie’s ideal man. A hot, fun ginger boy would be worth breaking all the rules for, of course.  And Kylie is sure Harry just needs the right, centering woman to settle him down.  But living in Dallas and not knowing Prince Harry make this a non-option.
Or does it?
Because when Kylie accidentally falls into the lap of a gorgeous ginger boy—yes, even more gorgeous than the real Prince Harry—all bets are off. Could this stranger be the one to show Kylie how to take a chance, to face her fears, and live in the present?  And could this stranger be the Prince Harry she has been waiting for? Kylie’s life takes some unexpected twists and turns thanks to this chance encounter, and she knows her life will never be the same because of it...

Waiting for Prince Harry - Coming 2014

About the author.
Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency.

But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night.  Connectivity is Aven’s debut novel; Waiting For Prince Harry and Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista (New Adult romantic comedy) will be published this year.

Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.

Get in touch with Aven
Connect with me on Facebook,

Talk to me on Twitter,

Visit me on the web and

Check out my pins on Pinterest.

Check out Connectivity, Aven Ellis’ debut novel:


Overachiever Mary-Kate Grant (who is indeed named after an Olsen Twin) has followed every rule to the letter to pursue her dream of working in TV programming. Ripping a page from the “hard work pays off” playbook, she takes an assistant level job at a Chicago sports network to break into the industry.

MK has no time or desire for a relationship right now—she is totally focused on her career and being independent, unlike the other women in her family.



But MK’s plans are run through the shredder when she finds herself working for William Cumberland, a British media mogul who made his fortune with Connectivity, a social media site. William blows into Chicago just like the winds off Lake Michigan and purchases the group of networks MK works for—and makes her his personal assistant in the process.



Suddenly MK finds her career plans in jeopardy. William makes her question everything she has ever thought and has the uncanny ability to see right through her. And for the first time in her life, MK finds herself not only questioning what she wants for her career but for her personal life as well…



WIN WIN WIN!!
1 x ecopy of Waiting for Prince Harry (when it is published) 
and 1 x ecopy of Connectivity.  
Open Internationally.


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Book Review: Unsaid things... our story - McFly

McFly - Unsaid things... our story


The blurb.
In 2003, Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Harry Judd, and Dougie Poynter came together and formed what would become one of the most popular and successful bands in the UK. Just teenagers at the time, they were catapulted into the limelight and had to adapt quickly to their newfound fame—and everything that came with it. Now, at last, they have decided to tell their story, in full and revealing detail. Speaking with candor and their trademark humor, Tom, Danny, Harry, and Dougie share both the stories of their own lives and that of McFly. They give their personal insights into their contrasting childhoods, the individual paths that led them to the band, the struggles they have each overcome, their love lives, and, of course, their music. Packed with previously untold stories, a lot of laughter, and the occasional tear, Unsaid Things offers a privileged look into the lives of four guys who started out as bandmates and became best friends. Their unique camaraderie radiates from every page, and by the end of the book, you’ll know them almost as well as they know each other.

Mary, the fan girl.


From the age of 14 I've been a McFly fan. Ok. I was (am?) a fan girl. Big time.
McFly wasn't (isn't) very well known in Belgium. This meant that seeing them perform live wasn't something that happened often. It did mean however that I felt privileged. I felt a bit superior, knowing everything about this awesome band no one in my class had even heard off - almost like it was all especially for me, the interviews, the music, the YouTube videos and compilations,...

I've seen them perform 4 times over the years: once in London (yes, I booked a trip to London JUST for them), twice in Holland (once in Amsterdam, once in Tilburg) and finally in Brussels, BELGIUM.
In Tilburg my two friends and I waited in line for over 8 hours to get a front row view.
It was worth it. Goosebumps.
(see video above: 4min. pictures, 22min. live clips!!)

My opinion 
And now there's this. "Our story". I'm surprised it took me this long to finally read it, but I'm so happy I did. Apart from those very first years, I witnessed all those moments as a fan. It now seems so funny that I was convinced I knew everything about McFly and it's members. Turns out: I knew next to nothing! Ha! I loved reading their side of things and parts of their story were just heartbreaking.
[I do feel a bit relieved: I wasn't a big fan of the Above The Noise album and I felt like a bad fan for saying it. But the guys were totally honest in this book and expressed their own doubts about it. Relieved! And now even more excited about what the next album will bring!]
Tom, how many times are you going to make me cry over your wedding speech? I mean, seriously! And Dougie... so much hugs your way. I cannot imagine what hell you've been through, and how hard your struggle still is... You're an inspiration!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Book Tour: The Biggest Lie - Lisbeth Foye + Giveaway


The Biggest Lie - Lisbeth Foye





The blurb.

The Hague, Holland 1976 

After a procession of hapless relationships, 23 year-old Lana Milton finds herself recklessly falling for a man who should be out of bounds, but despite fighting with her emotions the affair begins, an affair which can only cause pain and heartache; not only to Lana but - more importantly - to the innocent party. 
Coming face to face with the one person she is hurting the most, Lana has to make a decision which breaks her heart. She knows that she is the only one to make the choice, something she can only do by lying, a lie which betrays the truth. Lana’s distortion of the truth closes the door on the only real love she has known. 
In life’s ups and downs even her best friend Tess, is not what she seems. Tess turns on her, leaving her and their friendship in tatters.
Lana moves on to a new start in London where she meets rich, tormented Howard Marshall. Howard is frustratingly aware that his love for Lana is not reciprocated. Slowly, over-time his attempts to control her with his furtive mind-games and calculated derisory tactics only serve to curtail the chance of her ever loving him back in return.
After nearly 20 years of manipulation, Howard’s desperate struggle to break the woman he loves finally backfires when Lana, now middle-aged and fuelled with the still-burning embers of her long-ago love, confronts Howard. She stands up to his bullying and devious malicious ways, her anger fills her with a renewed strength in which she finds the courage to leave him to start her life yet again.
Now in her late fifties and living in a calm, non-disruptive world close to her family, Lana is content and yearns for nothing more in life. 
But fate has other ideas as it smashes through the door to bring her life around, full circle, lifting her up in a whirlwind to drop her on the Pacific coast in Southern California. 
The Biggest Lie – a tale of love, friendship, hope and strength is set in the era of glitter-ball discos which grows to maturity in the 21st century. Proof, that it’s never too late for anything...


My opinion.
The story is, for the most part, set in Holland. For me - being Belgian - that meant reading about familiar places and reading some words in my own language, Dutch, which was really nice and refreshing.
When we meet the main character, Lana, she's in her twenties and enjoying life without commitment. Although I'm very different from Lana, I didn't have much trouble connecting with her and I liked her as a MC. This unfortunately changed a bit as she got older. Maybe it's closed minded and/or maybe it's because I cannot relate to her situation, but I couldn't sympathize with her over her affair with Joe. To me, cheating is still a definite no-no and the fact that Lana was okay with just being "the other woman" for the man she claimed to be "the love of her life", was just very frustrating. The twenty-something Lana was independent, happy and full of life, how could she be happy taking the backseat in someone else's love life?
When she finally made - in my eyes - the smart decision about Joe, I thought she was on the right track again. But then came Howard. He made me so, so angry. I felt for Lana. Howard was horrible to her and no one deserves being treated that way. I don't, however, understand how it could even come to that. Before she got herself in a situation where she was financially dependent on him, she'd already admitted to herself she didn't actually love that man. Even after she had more options financially and she'd got a wake up call thanks to her friend Esther, she still stayed with him. Again, I can't relate to her situation but I found it very frustrating, again, that it took her so long to get rid of him... she'd never even loved him, after all... 
Her decisions concerning men aside, I enjoyed reading her story. The fact that it told over 40 years of her life gives you the opportunity to really get to know her. It's a nice feeling to have when reaching to the end of the book, the feeling you've been there with the main character the entire journey leading up to that point.
Lisbeth Foye kept me interested during the entire story, even when I didn't agree with Lana, I still wanted to keep on reading. I will definitely keep an eye out for her future projects!


About the author. 


I'm the author of two fictional novels; The Biggest Lie and Luca.
I was born in York, England in the early 1950s and lived there until the 70s when I took off to go travelling around Europe. I spent the decade living and working in Paris - France, Spain and many years in Holland before returning to England in 1983 where I settled in London before moving to Cambridgeshire where I now live; close to my niece and her family. I believe that there's still another location or two I have yet to move on to...
I’m a nomadic-hippy at heart; my experiences have been a big influence contributing to the colourful characters and incidents in my books.
JC, my OH lives in the States, we’re still working out how we will be together but as I’m a great believer in fate, I don’t worry. After all that we’ve been through, I know that the time will come. It’s not a problem for us being so far apart, we’re both secure in our love and I feel him with me constantly. Picking up the phone to each other is so easy these days with Skype – it’s as simple as calling your friend in the next town. The miles between us hold no intrusion into our relationship.
I like other people cooking for me, JC’s a much better cook than me and I love being in the kitchen with him, I wash up and make a salad as he cooks the dinner.
I get emotional at the most obscure things; when I see horses frollicking around a field, I well up with emotion…I look at pictures of our beautiful planet and I feel a strange kind of homesickness...I don’t like vacuuming though, the noise and the way that tube thing bangs against your leg, how it jams itself behind doors; I really cannot stand the things.
Gardening’s another thing I despise, despite my love of nature – I feel that all that weeding is a waste of time.
I look forward to the day when I pack up, move to be with JC and I can say, ‘Well, that’s no more mowing for me…’
Author Links

  

Giveaway
UK ONLY
2 x notebooks
4 x message plaques/note pegs
4 x message doves
1 x bird whistle
1 x stone engraved with bird paperweight 



Excerpt
Lana played with the front door key in her hand; did she really want to go in? No, she felt ill at ease going in to her own home. How silly, she thought to herself as she mechanically unlocked the door and went in to the small hallway. She bent down to pick up a pile of free newspapers and flyers which no-one else had bothered to clear up. As she turned her body sideways to get up the stairs, passing the bikes suspended from the walls, she stuffed them in to a brightly painted basket hanging on the front of one of the bikes. She could hear the television coming from the ground floor flat, they had it easy, lugging heavy shopping up these stairs had become a dreaded task; Lana would have loved to have a flat at street level. The smell of something delicious bubbling on the hob came closer as she got to the first floor, obviously not wafting down from her flat, if only she could make a detour through that door… The stairs became steeper and narrower as she began the climb up to the attic. She could hear the muffled sound of men’s voices mingled with the sound of Simon & Garfunkel coming from the stereo on the other side of the door. Lana threw her coat over the bannister and went in to the bathroom. A dash of lipstick and swish of mascara magically wiped away the tired end of the day look, she fluffed her short hair with her fingers trying to replicate that Farrah Fawcett bounce, but today, her hair flicked up and stuck out waywardly of its own accord, it couldn’t be tamed into a sophisticated aura of splendour, so she shrugged her shoulders and let it be. Lana took a deep breath before opening the door and entering the living room. ‘Hi,’ she smiled at the three of them, each with a bottle of Amstel lager in their hand, she moved quickly through into the kitchen before they could respond or include her in their dreary chitchat. No roasting meaty smells emitted from their kitchen. ‘I thought you said you’d done the cooking…‘ Lana could feel her heart thumping, she raised her hand and placed it on her chest, the tremors banging against her palm, it must be from climbing those stairs… ‘I have!’ Tess replied resentfully, ‘there’s no way you could have made that roast in time,’ she glanced up at the clock, silently blaming Lana for not being there to help but feeling relieved and more confident in the situation now that her friend was now at home, ‘you’ll have to do it tomorrow though, before the meat spoils.’ Lana ignored her comment, sometimes, actually, more times than she cared to think about, she held her tongue when Tess spoke to her like that, demanding that she jump and dance to her tune. ‘I’ve made the trifle and here,’ Tess lifted the lid from a pan to reveal tinned tomato soup which had been bubbling on the stove for so long the edges around the pan had become thick and dark in colour. ‘I don’t like tomato soup,’ Lana said as Tess replaced the lid. ‘I know you don’t but you’re going to have to eat it or go without.’ ‘I’ll go without.’ She said happily. ‘So, is that it? Is that dinner? Over-cooked tomato soup and lumpy sugared trifle?’ ‘Of course not, I knew you wouldn’t want the starter so, whilst we are having our soup I thought that you could cook the dinner, which is…cheese omelette, chips and salad, it won’t take you long. I’ve whisked the eggs for you,’ Tess raised a tea towel from the large mixing bowl to show her work. Lana felt pissed off with the; for you bit Tess had tagged on to the end but that was Tess and she had learned not to respond to such comments, she wouldn’t see her viewpoint on the matter, so, most of the time Lana said nothing. ‘I’ve also peeled the potatoes,’ another tea towel was raised to show raw potatoes in a bowl of water. ‘Can you go and ask them to come to the table and I’ll start to dish the soup up.’ Tess thought she had it all in hand and that the perfect dinner party was about to take place. Lana went in to the living room feeling flustered and slightly awkward, the three of them stopped talking as she went through, she caught the eye of Joe and felt as though a vacuous planet swirled in her head, it dissipated all the words in the universe and zapped the language from her memory. If she closed her eyes she couldn’t even tell you what colour hair or eyes he had…the shape of his nose…she wouldn’t be able to describe him to the police if he burgled their flat. Lana’s subconsciousness would not allow any form or image of him to register his existence within her, he had shot her senses to bits, her co-ordination and entity were in smithereens and the breath had been sucked out of her. Nearly two hours of drinking and she was now completely sober. The one thing Lana knew for certain was; that she was completely out of her depth with the situation and didn’t have the foggiest idea how to act, or react, to it. Sean spoke first as he heard the clanking of metal on pot as Tess dished up the “home cooked” starter, ‘it smells good,’ he said, being polite. ‘Tomato soup.’ Lana said, her mouth now running away with itself, ‘I’m not sure what you were expecting,’ she couldn’t help but chuckle at the situation, ‘but a home-cooked full roast dinner with Yorkshire’s it ain’t!’ ‘It doesn’t matter…’ ‘Whatever it is will be great… I’m sure...’ ‘It’s nice to be out of those pokey rooms we are in…’ All three of them spoke at once as they followed her through into the kitchen, they eyed the bedside table with its floral cushion and their relief was visible as Tess directed each of them to a chair, leaving Lana with the cupboard to sit on. The best way, Lana decided, to cook such a huge omelette would be in the wok and, as she had no intention of putting on a pan of oil to fry chips; the smell and the noise would be a hazard to her sanity, she decided on an alternative. She put the eggs on a low heat, ‘I’m just going out. Will you keep an eye on the omelette please?’ Lana asked, hoping that at least one of them would have better culinary skills than Tess. She thought she heard someone utter “omelette?” in disbelief as she left the kitchen. She did though; quite clearly hear Joe say to Tess, ‘Where’s she going? Will she be back?’ To which Tess replied, ‘God only knows. Now eat up whilst it’s still hot.’
The omelette turned out to be somewhat better than you’d imagine it would be; granted, it was a bit tough and dry on the outside but the middle was fluffy and light and, once it had been tipped out of the wok on to the large serving platter it looked like a splendid, anaemic Christmas pudding covered with bits of spam, onion, cheese, chopped tomato and crispy brown bits. Lana proudly held it aloft and with a loud fanfare from their guests she placed it in the middle of the dining table; it took all of five seconds before it began to slowly deflate before their eyes; the mock fanfare faded away as their voices sighed in unison with a big “Aww!” they watched as the omelette spread itself out to accommodate all the available space on the platter. ‘Never mind…’everyone uttered jovially as she tipped the oversized bag of French fries into the largest mixing bowl they had in the house. Lana had bought far too many chips from the corner caff but at least they would become bloated from the starch and feel that they had done a good job of filling them up, give them enough booze and they will think they’ve dined at the Ritz.